An axe fit for a Finnish lumberjack : TOOL BOX

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The Independent Online
Finland has more than its fair share of trees, which probably explains why the best axes I have used for years come from that part of the world. Prices for Fiskar's range of five-piece Handy Axes start at £19.99 for the Model 600, which is descri bed as suitable for camping expeditions. At the other end of the scale, the Model 2400 costs £39.99 and is intended for splitting substantial pieces of timber.

I have horrifically vivid memories of an axe head parting company with its wooden handle and just missing an onlooker. Fiskars' design virtually eliminates this risk because each axe's drop-forged steel blade is "wrapped" in the end of the handle, which is made of a plastic-type material that combines high strength with low weight. The handle and the head-to-handle joint are each covered by a 10-year warranty against material and production defects.

These axes look and feel good. They also out-perform traditional designs, according to tests carried out by Tampere Technical University in Finland.

Fiskars UK, Bridgend Business Centre, Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan CF31 3XJ (0656 655595).